My Dh wrote these words and I am reluctantly posting them. I know he has been much too generous in his praise, but he insists on my posting it. I love him for it though.
In Praise of my lifelong sweetheart.
I write the following on my wife's blog because I don't have one of my own. I know that she would never consent to print anything of this kind about herself, so, I'll take on the task myself. I am the only person responsible for the contents of this message. I feel certain that her many friends and acquaintances will not be in the least surprised to read these words. What I say here will only echo the sentiments they already harbor in their hearts for her.
Fifty years ago this year, I lost a toss of the coin which resulted in putting me on a path that led me into the presence of a pretty young maiden who would become my wife five years later. Her warm smile and shiny green eyes had an immediate effect on me which has lasted and deepened as the years have rolled on. Our home was always neat and clean in spite of her relentlessly busy schedule.(The only times I had to get involved with cleaning was when CJ, our dog, would spread her vomit or diarreah all over the kitchen floor.) Just to name a few activities that devoured her time I will cite: rides to school, to the doctors, to dance classes, scouting for the boys, sporting events, piano lessons, and a host of other engagements at night and the week-ends. During all those years she had time consuming, demanding callings in the church, as well as monthly temple trips and so on. All those years she prepared tasty and nutritious meals, did most of the shopping and found time to knit, sew clothes, make quilts and visit people in need.I believe she was a one hundred percenter in her visiting teaching, and, most of the time, through it all, a gracious smile lit her face as she welcomed friends and neighbors into our home.
The years passed. The kids grew and moved away. Retirement time came followed by a move to Texas. Then, in 2008, we accepted a call to serve a 23 month mission to Belgium and northern France, where we are laboring to this day. Now, you would think that, after all those years of intensive work and responsibilities, Natalie would be worn out and would have wished to sit and to lounge around while eating bonbons and watching TV. Sometimes she admits that that lifestyle would be quite appealing...But, instead, she has 20 or more Young Adults to cook for, to shepherd,to train and to guide. You should see her, how she smiles at those youngsters, hugs the boys as well as the girls, pats them on the back, cheers them when they're sad, tells them jokes and stories (mostly in english), advises them (mostly the girls) with their boy troubles, empathises with their challenges, provides solace for their anguish, all the while acting much like a proper mother hen in charge of a large brood of chicks....And the way those youngsters respond to her!!!! They simply love her and seek her opinion on their miriad problems, frustrations, disappointments, heartaches, all of which are typical challenges facing young people between the ages of 18 and 30. It would be very difficult to find a better counselor, supporter, friend, leader, exemplar, or simply put, a more sorely needed light in these benighted times, as they wend their way into productive adulthood. She is their trusty polar star and she helps them make sense of the emotional roller coasters they experience at that stage of their lives.....
And I watch her. I stand back with a proud smile on my face. I watch her buzz around, and I smile and thing to myself "Yep, that's my Natalie!" I must have done something really good, perhaps in the pre-existence, to deserve this truly remarkable and capable woman.
We were both wondering when we found out about our assignment to Belgium and France, why the Lord had inspired his leaders to send us to this unlikely corner of the world. It soon became evident once more that the Lord knows what He is doing. It turns out that Natalie's language skills are at a premium here. Who would have thought that her knowledge of russian would be needed to spread the gospel light and to teach the plan of salvation to seven of Heavenly Father's children who had made their way into this area? He knows where His children are, what their needs are, and on whom He can trust to "lift up the hands that hang down and the feeble knees." Though she is saddled with constant footache, backache, stomach problems and other physical ills of many kinds, she "girds up her loins" as it were, and sticks to the task of filling the many needs of those, who, at their tender age, are in dire need of much nourishment, strength, guidance, example to follow, and love. In that arena is where Natalie truelly shines. Her natural inclination is to dispense love and warmth without measure. The Young Adults in the Stake of Lille are the fortunate recipients of the bounties of her heart. Bless her heart, if there ever were women whose worth was above that of rubies, Natalie surely is one of them. I know that the Lord God Almighty smiles kindly as He watches her follow in the footsteps of His Only Begotten. Her noble heart will be a blessing to her numerous posterity throughout the ages to come, and I'll be happy and honored to stand by her side and smile and nod my approval with heartfelt admiration and love through endless ages to come. From the pen of John